Another TAC internship complete. Read below to see how Alina got on…

A few words from Alina on her time at The Antibody Company…

Expectations

The internship far exceeded my expectations. The training I have received was fantastic and, following from that, the work carried a lot more responsibility than I was initially expecting. This made it more challenging and, in the end, more rewarding, and the right level of support was always in place.

Summary

My internship has been a fantastic learning experience. Working for a small company with a lot going on such as The Antibody Company has allowed me to get involved in so many different aspects, from amazing and varied lab work to the somewhat less fun but very useful associated paperwork and reports. On top of learning the different techniques used in the lab, I have also been given a few projects to follow through, allowing me to work independently and make my own contributions. In addition, everyone at the company has been amazing at teaching me the different lab techniques, going above and beyond to make sure I made the most out of the internship. The work was generally quite challenging and I was given quite a lot of freedom in deciding how to approach it, but there was always someone around to make sure I was on the right track. In addition, the atmosphere in the lab was friendly and supportive, and this made a huge difference in keeping me motivated during the days when experiments did not work, supporting me all the way through a sometimes frustrating learning curve.

Three things that you have learned from this internship

This internship massively helped my planning and organization skills. Quite a few of the experiments took up to 6 hours to complete, with various intervention points and little margin to delay them once started. Having the possibility to organize my own day, by the end of the internship I was able to fit a few of them in the same day, while also having enough time for lunch and other breaks.

My internship taught me to keep detailed records of my activities in the lab, as well as some very neat ways of organizing and filing all this information. This proved particularly useful when troubleshooting an assay that had gone wrong, and was fundamental for one of the projects I was involved in.

The internship also taught me to work independently and be able to confidently defend my results when they did not match expectations. This was facilitated by the supportive atmosphere in the lab and the detailed records I had kept to back up my claims.

Think back to your first day, what do you wish people had told you before you walked through the door?

Bring a watch! Preferably one that allows you to set a timer (or three).

All of us at TAC wish Alina the very best as she goes on to a PhD at UCL.